Ukraine ceasefire in tatters as fighting escalates in east

The Guardian: Fighting has escalated in eastern Ukraine as government and pro-Russia forces struggle for control of the besieged town of Debaltseve, leaving the new ceasefire in tatters on its second day.

The Ukrainian military said on Monday that rebels had fired on its troops 112 times in the past 24 hours. At least five Ukrainian fighters have been killed and 25 wounded since the ceasefire began on Sunday, a military spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, told the Guardian.

Most of the fighting was concentrated around Debaltseve, where thousands of soldiers have been cut off from the main Ukrainian lines near Artemivsk by rebel artillery. Pro-Russia forces have been trying for weeks to take the town, which holds a rail junction connecting the main rebel centres of Donetsk and Luhansk.

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